A fictional universe created by committee, where several authors write their stories while referencing each other's works, backgrounds, characters and plotlines.

Shared universes may be completely committee based, may be uncontrolled anarchies where writers can fight out differences in conception in their fiction, may be rigidly controlled by a single editor who lets others play in his sandbox, or anything in between. Often, Round Robin type stories develop where one writer writes a chapter, followed by the next, and so on, and so on....

Shared universe settings on the Internet include or have included Superguy, the Legion of Net.Heroes, Undocumented Features, alt.pub.havens-rest, alt.pub.dragons-inn, Robotech: The Misfold, and many others.

Shared universes may be used for original settings or fan fiction, and may be private or open to the public. At their best, they can become a social activity for the participants, with associated mailing lists and chatrooms where editors and writers may meet and spend hours discussing story ideas or simply shooting the breeze.

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